Next year the Bulls offensive line will be essentially wiped out with 4 graduating seniors leaving the starting rotation. That is why the staff at South Florida is focusing on the JUCO ranks to rebuild. One of the more recent JUCO linemen to be offered is T.J. Tuigamala. He's a 6-foot-4 305 pound Guard/Tackle. Originally from Paloma Valley High School, Tuigamala planned on going to Fresno State, but did not clear admissions with the NCAA.
"I missed some classes that I should have taken my junior year, it just kinda screwed everything up for me."
Fresno State offered T.J. a full scholarship, the head coach made an in home visit and he was all set to go until he found out he would be ineligible. From there he enrolled in Riverside Community College. Out of high school T.J. played both ways and was considered "unblockable" by opposing coaches. Once in JUCO he focused on playing left tackle and is just as dominate as he was on defense.
"My strength is my quickness off the ball." Adding, "I always beat the defenders off the ball."
Tiugamala currently has one offer and that's from South Florida, but there are a three other schools that are close to offering according to T.J.
"Oregon, Arizona State and Nebraska have shown interest and have been calling my coach a lot."
South Florida is further away from California then any of the schools listed, but T.J. says that is not a problem.
"Moving to Florida wouldn't be an issue, I think it would be interesting. It would be fun."
Although he lives in California, Tuigamala says he's been exposed to USF and knows they are an up-and-comer in college football.
"I know they got a good quarterback that will be playing there for a few years and I hear they will be losing a lot of guys on the offensive line. Coach Canales says I could fit in at either guard or tackle."
T.J. is set to graduate either in May or late June of '09, he meets with a guidance counselor this week to map out his final year. Once he graduates he will have two years of eligibility with a possible redshirt year if needed. He says he'll take things slow until about December, then he'll take a couple official visits before making a final decision.
Bulls Offer Cali JUCO Offensive Tackle
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